This article isn’t specifically related to this semester’s course content, but it does relate to previous discussions within this subject, as we’ve referenced the Guerrilla Girls before–and, I suppose, is automatically relevant because it directly deals with the world of design.
Each person is to bring enough ingredients to the meal to serve at least ten people. They will then be paired with someone else, who has brought their own ingredients and recipe. They will cook the other person’s meal, at their instruction, thereby immersing themselves fully in the other person’s culture.
The experience will be shared by both participants, in a kitchen where other pairs are also cooking. This will allow people to wander the room, at intervals throughout cooking, to glimpse other cultures.
This assignment model will ensure that the available meals will cater for every individual with any special dietary needs, as well as educating others as to ‘alternative’ eating practices. People operating in pairs also ensures a more involved and intimate experience of another culture’s cooking practices, rather than one person showing multiple people how to cook; this model removes the concept of an audience.
Notes from Class:
More stuff to be added!!
Proceeding with this assignment, at one stage, was difficult for me–simply because I was more focussed on paying homage to Makiko’s work than presenting the interview itself. I’m very glad that a discussion at of the lectures I attended caused me to take a step back and reconsider my approach! I’ve always benefitted from talking with teachers and lecturers, and explaining ideas and reasoning aloud–and this turning point in my assignment highlighted to me the importance of moving outside of a self-contained perspective.
Once I did receive the interview content from Makiko, I was faced with a problem–but it was one I was prepared for, as I’d already considered the issues language barriers may create. The fact was (though her answers were easily readable when corrected for grammar and spelling) I did not have much content to work with, and her answers were all rather short. Having considered that this might be the case, I had already begun planning a minimal presentation that would suit both the nature of the interview, and her illustrations.
I was inspired by books of poetry, and the way–in these texts–a minimal layout is used to give absolute power to the meaning of words. Because Makiko’s interview answers are in ‘endearingly broken’ english (as it was put in her 2008 nico interview), a reader has to pause and consider them more carefully; the design of my zine allows space for this deeper reflection.
Following this, I encountered another problem; that my zine was too simple. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, I introduced colour and texture into the presentation to counter this, though I was careful not complicate the presentation to an extent that Makiko’s work would be overpowered.
I decided upon glossy paper, not only to give full emphasis to the detail of Makiko’s illustrations, but also because it follows the nature of her work; it is clean, observational, intricate, and without blemishes or texture. The women in her pieces may often be amputees, but they are whole and unbroken, slender and beautiful. The smoothness of the paper reflects the qualities of these women.
Communicating my respect for Makiko Sugawa was an additional goal I gave myself. Furthering the influence books of poetry were having on my piece, I decided I would write a short piece to honour her, and placed it at the end of the publication.
Where I’d have written a short introduction about Makiko Sugawa, at the beginning of the zine, I was unable; she is a private artist, and very little is publicly known about her. I read through the few interviews I could find about her, but even then I still knew very little. This mystery, in my eyes, only makes her more of an enigma, and makes her work all the more beautiful; hence, I was sure to communicate this at the beginning of the zine.
The text within my printed publication is, possibly, too light. It is still readable, but I’d ideally have done a reprint, had I not paid so much for the first version (my wallet, unfortunately, has the loudest say in this).
Still, it’s a valuable learning experience, and it doesn’t stop me from loving this little publication!! It’s wonderful to have a small piece of history to hold in my hands, reminding me that I got to speak with a designer I’ve admired for so many years!
One of the disadvantages of growing up in a small town, in a small school that prided sport and academia over arts, is that I’m very used to self-directed development. It would never have entered my mind to actually contact Makiko Sugawa, this superb illustrator who has influenced me for so long!
This assignment, and this course, marks the beginning of a change; I have realised that there is so much more to be found out there, in the world outside my own influence. This assignment has reshaped my goals. I now realise how important interaction is, and how much I have to learn from moving outside my comfort zone.
I have the finished product to hold in my hands now!! It’s gorgeous… some of the type within the document is a bit lighter than on screen, but it’s still readable (and, unfortunately, I’m not sure I could afford another print, having paid over $60 for this one)
All in all, I’m very happy with this zine!! The quality of the images really comes through, which is a big relief, because I didn’t want to loose Makiko’s delicate linework in the printing process!
My zine is finished!! The final test print was a success, so tomorrow I’ll be off to do a high-quality colour print!
I intend to use gloss paper for the presentation, to reinforce the intricacy of Makiko’s linework, and not have texture disrupt the detail of her illustrations. Binding the zine may become complicated, if the publication becomes too thick due to the high paper quality; staples may not suffice.
If this is the case, I’ll attempt some other binding options I’ve already explored–or, failing that, I’ll use gloss paper for the back and front cover, and a lower-density paper for the other pages. This will mean I’ll still be able to use staples. I feel that staples suit this particular zine because they’re subtle enough to disappear, not distracting from the publication’s content.
Very happy with this assignment, and the opportunity to interact with an illustrator I’ve admired for years!! I’ll be proofreading and posting my reflection within the next three days.
All artworks by Makiko Sugawa have been used with her written permission. All images used are sourced below:
PAGE 1/FRONT COVER: Makiko Sugawa, Title of image unknown, illustration (nico variant cover), pinterest, viewed 16 May 2016, https://au.pinterest.com/pin/341781059197368173/.
PAGE 4: Makiko Sugawa, Title of image unknown, illustration (nico variant cover), pinterest, viewed 17 May 2016, https://au.pinterest.com/pin/49187820903991358/.
PAGE 5: Makiko Sugawa, Title of image unknown, illustration (nico variant cover), pinterest, viewed 17 May 2016, https://au.pinterest.com/pin/49187820903991361/.
PAGE 7: Makiko Sugawa, 2008, nico winter 2008 #03 page 77, Mike Koedinger, 10 rue des Gaulois L-1618 Luxembourg Europe.
PAGE 8: Makiko Sugawa, Intial date of the work unknown, Title of the work unknown, illustration, Shedonism, viewed 16 May 2016, http://www.shdnsm.com/2012/05/28/makiko-sugawa-mondo-bizzarro-gallery-save-the-date/attachment/05102010123841/.
PAGE 10: Makiko Sugawa, Intials date of the work unknown, Hair Ornament, illustration, Hellion Gallery, viewed 17 May 2016, http://www.helliongallery.com/current-show/perfect-thirst/perfect-thirst-artwork/makiko-sugawa-perfect-thirst-artwork/.
PAGE 11: Makiko Sugawa, Title of image unknown, illustration (nico variant cover), pinterest, viewed 18 May 2016, https://au.pinterest.com/pin/49187820903991365/.
PAGE 14: Makiko Sugawa, Title of image unknown, illustration, pinterest, viewed 18 May 2016, https://au.pinterest.com/pin/341781059197368203/.
PAGE 16: Makiko Sugawa, Title of image unknown, illustration, pinterest, viewed 16 May 2016, https://au.pinterest.com/pin/400820435567172004/.
BACKGROUND IMAGE: Das Sasha, July 2 2015, Title unknown, photograph 1944×2896, unsplash, viewed 22 May 2016, https://unsplash.com/photos/VuBzplNNi0k.